That's right, zombies can make you think better. PROJECT AZRIEL is the least boring brain trainer in the world and has been shown to increase fluid intelligence. It’s a ton of fun to play so get it soon and have a blast taking down zombies while training your brain to work better.
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Release Date:
Oct 20, 2017

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“PROJECT AZRIEL offers a pioneering approach to improve cognitive skills: integrate the training with engaging FPS/TPS game play. We are a small team of developers and researchers that have put a lot of time into making sure that the brain training in PROJECT AZRIEL is rigorous and produces results while ensuring that the gameplay is exciting and fun. It’s a tough balance to get right but we are confident that with the immense feedback of the Steam Community we will be able to fine-tune that balance and make it extremely enjoyable to play a FPS/TPS brain training game.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“While release dates for any software can be hard to pin down, we think it is extremely important to manage the expectations of those that put their trust in us. We have laid out a detailed road map with attainable targets defined. We have most of the currently defined functionality implemented and will be doing iterative content-driven releases with bug fixes during the next few months that are in line within our completion targets. As we get feedback from the Steam Community on game enhancements, we may need to shift priorities a bit to implement those enhancements. Our promise to Early Access partners is that we will be working full-time on development of this project and we will update our release targets as necessary as well as regularly post progress updates to make sure everyone is aware of our current state of development. All that being said, we hope to have the full game completed roughly by the end of April, 2018.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The full version will have additional content and functionality, some of which will be defined by the Early Access players of PROJECT AZRIEL. Additional content that is planned is new types of adversaries and dozens of new missions in new scenes which have already been designed but may be adapted based on the feedback we receive. The final stage of our development will include in-game cinematic sequences and fine-tuning the atmosphere of the game. Our design approach has been to ensure brain training and gameplay functionality first and foremost and then to deepen the gameplay experience through cinematics and more detailed design elements. The feedback we receive will be critical to helping us complete this game and we will be asking specific questions of our Early Access partners to enable us to make this the most enjoyable game possible.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“We have several hours of gameplay content developed with the ability to re-do missions, scenes, or the entire campaign and keep your earned experience points and difficultly levels. This ensures a player can play the game indefinitely and continue rigorous brain training while doing so. All of the planned cognitive training activities have been developed and implemented into the gameplay. We are in the final stages of the Early Access release working on optimization with an internal quality assurance pass and bug fixes already in process.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“The price will increase after Early Access. There will be a lot of additional content and some new functionalities that may be defined in the Early Access development cycle. We want to reward those who are with us from the beginning and investing their time, creative ideas, and money in PROJECT AZRIEL by offering the game to them at a lower price.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We believe we have created an exciting, one-of-a-kind game that provides rigorous brain training. We know that to get that balance fine-tuned we will need regular, detailed, and constructive feedback. This means we will be looking for feedback on gameplay dynamics as well as new feature and content requests. We will be actively engaging and asking questions of our Early Access partners in the Steam forums, on social media, and through email and surveys.”
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Recent updates View all (6)

December 15, 2017

Update 2017 1214

We uploaded a fix to a bug we thought we squashed until we watched larszua stream PROJECT AZRIEL on Twitch. The video helped us to trouble shoot the problem and solve it. We ran some tests and it appears the problem is no longer present.

This bug could have been very frustrating for those that experienced it and that's why we handled as soon as we could. The bug prevented going into the mini games that diminish your infection and replenish your health and ammo.

We also added a warning for anyone who may try to play the game without doing the training first.

We're working hard on getting Player Preferences and Key Mapping and controller support out soon. So look for those features in our next update.

Bug Fixes:
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented doing Remote Targeting and the Bio-Agent Resistance Training.

Modifications, Additions, and Enhancements:
  • Warning dialogue box that appears for those who try to play the campaign before completing the training.
  • Minor visual improvement to the menu

Content that we’re currently working on:
  • Cave Scene
  • Foothills Scene
  • Bonus Scene for those that purchased PROJECT AZRIEL at the Walker Stalker convention

Enhancements that we're currently working on:
  • Zombie face animation improvements.
  • Additional interactive props and decal dressing in Scenes 1 and 2.
  • Integrate Performance Enhancement into the game startup options.
  • Add settings options in the Main Menu and Pause Menu.
  • Key Mapping and Controller Support
  • Main Menu and Pause Menu visual fixes and enhancements

Known issues that we're currently working on:
  • On rare occasions the game may crash in the second scene on some machines.
  • Zombie spawning inhibited in the last mission area in the 2nd scene on rare occasions.

Thanks for your partnership and support.

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December 5, 2017

How You Can Analyze the Research Behind Brain Training

I’m posting below a section from the book Zombies Can Make You Think Better, How A Game Can Build Your Brain for those of you who want to know more about how to understand experimental and control groups in research studies. It explains why having a matched control group is the best way to test efficacy of interventions. Not all research studies do, but we used a matched control group in our efficacy study that demonstrated far transfer.

Experimental and Control Versions of the Game

One of the challenges in research is coming up with a good active control condition. An active control group is desired so you can demonstrate that one intervention is better than another, not simply that one intervention is better than nothing. Also, without an active control group, the experimental group may get more attention from the experiment researchers and that attention may influence the results significantly, in which case, you may be proving that the attention matters, not the intervention. So, an active control group is preferred, but it is still tricky. For example, an active control condition in an efficacy study of Project Azriel could be doing crossword puzzles. Both the control and experimental groups would be participating in the intervention, and this is better than a control condition where subjects do nothing except take pre and post tests, but it is not ideal for multiple reasons. First, we want to be able to tell the efficacy of the intervention, in this case the cognitive training activities, in the context of a first-person shooter game. There is a risk that the subjects will guess their group assignment. If that happens, then those playing the game may guess they are the experimental group and, therefore, try harder than those who may guess they are in the control group who do not try as hard. Another problem is that if crosswords are the active control, you may have the problem of apples and oranges. If doing crosswords puzzles, despite popular belief, actually makes you less cognitively healthy, then the game’s impact would be over-presented. That’s why we were really excited about our experimental design. We were able to create a version of the game where the cognitive training activities never got harder. Both the experimental and control participants were required to play the game for the same amount of time. They had an identical experience. But the training activities for the experimental group adaptively became more challenging. This made for a good active control condition.
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“Spoiler alert: The game works. My IQ went up 10 points... lol #ProjectAzriel”
Sahsha Coleman – 2014 Project Azriel ONR Study Participant

“My results after playing Project Azriel... After finishing my month of gameplay and finished my post testing my IQ through increased 22 points.”
Jordon Baade – 2015 Project Azriel ONR Study Participant

About This Game


The least boring brain trainer in the world. Most brain training programs are dull mini-games. Even when they work well, the player quickly loses interest in playing. PROJECT AZRIEL has been shown to increase fluid intelligence and it’s fun to play. Who doesn’t want to take down some zombies while training their brain to work better?

In a study sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, people who played our game increased their fluid intelligence score by 5 points on average.

"Fluid intelligence (is) the capacity to solve novel problems, to learn, to reason, to see connections and to get to the bottom of things." - Dan Hurly, New York Times

Do you play a lot of games? Being able to recognize patterns and solving new kinds of problems faster is what makes the difference between a good gamer and a great gamer. You do want to be a great gamer… don’t you?


• Improve your fluid intelligence while taking down zombies
• Rigorous brain training activities integrated with the gameplay
• Adaptive brain training and gameplay difficulty levels
• Re-do missions or the entire campaign while keeping current experience points & difficultly levels
• Toggle between 1st & 3rd person cameras for a different gameplay experience
• Adaptive depth-of-field player camera for a more cinematic feel
• Parkour movement capabilities such as slide, wall-run, and ledge grabbing


We’re a small scrappy little indie company that has been developing learning applications for over 15 years. At Curriculaworks, we care about helping people to achieve more through the use of targeted, research-based applications. We’ve helped over 200K students learn to read and now we’re excited to be leading the way in the field of cognitive improvement through our development of this new type of brain training application that is both fun and gets serious results.

We’ll use some of the proceeds of Project Azriel to develop a similar FPS brain-training game that is more age appropriate for children and to provide that game to students with learning disabilities free of charge. So, your purchase of PROJECT AZRIEL will help us to help others.

We’re doing an Early Access release to help us further refine our brain training application with the immense feedback of the Steam Community. Together we can make brain training impactful and fun.


PROJECT AZRIEL is the outcome of five years of research and development sponsored by the U.S. Office of Naval Research to create a rigorous cognitive trainer that is robust enough to generate transferable gains in fluid intelligence and compelling enough to get reluctant trainees to engage in the training outside of a lab environment. PROJECT AZRIEL currently integrates three cognitive training tasks targeting working memory updating, mental set switching, and attentional inhibition in a deeply engaging first person shooter video game.


A randomized, blinded study with more than 165 subjects was completed to determine impact of gameplay on cognitive transfer measures. The evaluation showed that the game was effective at improving fluid intelligence, a finding that replicates lab studies reported in the cognitive training literature.

Fluid Intelligence
A significant interaction emerged between the within person factor (pretest to posttest) and the experimental condition on fluid intelligence (F(1, 124) = 7.19, p < .01, η2 = .06). While both the experimental group and the control group improved on the fluid intelligence test from pretest to posttest, the experimental group improved significantly more than the control group. This interaction is depicted below:

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10 (64-bit versions)
    • Processor: Intel Core i5 2400s @ 2.5 GHz / AMD FX 6350 @ 3.9 GHz
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 / AMD Radeon R9 270 (2GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers
    • Additional Notes: Requires Steam activation and broadband internet connection
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10 (64-bit versions)
    • Processor: Intel Core i7 3770 @ 3.5 GHz / AMD FX 8350 @ 4.0 GHz
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 (4GB) or the newer GTX 970 (4GB) / AMD Radeon R9 280X (3GB of VRAM) or better
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 10 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers
    • Additional Notes: Requires Steam activation and broadband internet connection
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: 10.11.2
    • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA 650ti (1GB) or AMD 5770 (1GB) or Intel Iris Pro or better
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 8 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requires Steam activation and broadband internet connection
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: 10.11.2
    • Processor: 2.7 GHz i5
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA 700 series (2GB) or AMD R9 series (2GB)
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 10 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Requires Steam activation and broadband internet connection
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